Assembly gave woman $1.6 million in Covid funds; now Rivera wants her off the Equal Rights Commission

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Anchorage Assemblyman Felix Rivera has sent a letter to the Anchorage Ethics Board, requesting proceedings begin to remove Anchorage Equal Rights Commission member Rosalina Mavaega.

Rivera said he has lost confidence in her after a news report in the Anchorage Daily News indirectly showed that he and other members of the liberal Assembly gave Mavaega a $1.6 million grant, despite serious prior fraud allegations against Mavaega.

The money given by Rivera and other members of the Assembly to Mavaega was from American Rescue Plan Act. It was funding appropriated by the Assembly for the House of Transformations, a nonprofit that said it worked on helping people find housing and get addiction treatment.

Mavaega’s grant is one of many in the $50 million that the mayor’s office quickly handed out during the Covid pandemic.

This was not Mayor Dave Bronson’s office, however, although the way the ADN reporter wrote the story makes it an attack on Bronson.

The money was given out by the interim mayoral administration of Austin Quinn-Davidson, an Anchorage Democrat and Assembly member who stepped into the mayor’s role for eight months, unelected, after former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigned due to scandalous behavior. Bronson was not sworn in until July of 2021. It was the Assembly’s decision to give Mavaega the money.

The ADN report said, “the state of Alaska had permanently banned the founder of the nonprofit, Rosalina Mavaega, from serving as a Medicaid provider in 2015. The punishment resulted from a medical assistance fraud investigation and remains in effect. Mavaega’s husband, Esau Fualema, who is a co-founder of House of Transformations, separately pleaded no contest to criminally negligent homicide in 2008 and failed a background check to work at Mavaega’s prior company.”

What was unsaid by the newspaper is that the liberal Assembly and unelected mayor were rushing the funds out the door to make sure that Bronson would not have anything to say about the tens of millions of Covid slush money they had control of.

“Mavaega is a political supporter of embattled Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson, though the grant she received came before he took office. Bronson later appointed her to serve on the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, which is tasked with investigating allegations of discrimination, and to serve as the business representative on the city housing and homelessness committee,” the ADN wrote.

Bronson kept Mavaega on both city commissions even after the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica started hounding him about her past issues with the state; he said he had no ability to unilaterally remove her.

The IRS is seeking information about city grants awarded to Mavaega and her affiliated businesses since 2021. One Anchorage business owner contacted by investigators said officials representing the Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration asked for information about House of Transformations, “their business dealings” and bitcoin investments.

The problem with Rivera making his letter to the Ethic Board public is that by doing so, he has weaponized the ethics process, which is supposed to be kept quiet while it’s being looked into.

In fact, the form for complaints about ethics, shown above, even says that the information must be kept confidential. Often, ethics boards will dismiss complaints that appear politicized. But this is Anchorage, so it’s uncertain how the ethics will play out.

42 COMMENTS

  1. There is nothing the left won’t weaponize.

    Seems Spicy Gato is pissed money got out to someone not as beholden to the Politburo as he wants them to be.

  2. Well the leftist assembly members should be held responsible for these misappropriated funds. They wanted to control the check book now they need to pay for it.

  3. Quite ‘apparently’ there’s nefarious characters wanting to project some illusion of accountability. When in fact, thru true investigative journalism skills, the facts bear a different story of deceit and deceptive intentions. Shame on … Berkowitz, Rivera, Quinn-Davidson, and the other Anchorage Assembly misfits!!!
    May you all succumb to the misfortunes of Bear Encounters, Slipping on the Ice, and other tragic events. Good Luck!!!

    • Rob, allow them their days on Erf (as Rush would say). God’s final judgement is sufficient punishment for their kind.

  4. This is another example of Felix Rivera attempting to show power and control, that he routinely manufactures for himself, over others. He behaved similarly when he was Ethan Berkowitz’s admin assistant. He did this again when he erroneously gifted $1.5 million ARPA dollars without inquiring into the recipient. His ineptitude showed when screwed over homeless Alaskans by lobbying against and then stopping the mayor’s Navigation Center (if the Sullivan Area issued to house homeless people this winter, it will be entirely Felix’s fault again). And to top it off, Felix can’t even write an inappropriate letter to the Ethics Commission without errors.

    Felix is no leader. He is an embarrassment. He is a weak and cowardly wimp. The sooner the Anchorage Assembly convenes without him permanently the better. We don’t need his sorry a$$.

    • He was just re-elected in a landslide; just 2 months ago.
      My opinion? …. He’s not very smart, but neither are ANC voters.

      I can’t believe our government public “servants” sell out their own city & state, to elect these weak leaders that give them the raises they want.
      3 things hurt us …. banning prayer in school …. Vietnam war (JFK/LBJ) … unionized Gov workers (JFK)
      Since those 3 things, this country has gone straight down hill (w/ a brief respite during the Reagan years)

    • Felix is the perfect example of being the least sharp spoon within a drawer of rounded spoons, but yet he is naturally cunning, and with the support of those far sharper than him, he acquiesces unto every desire of his controllers, as he does not have a singular original thought within that oversized head that contains a miniscule brain.

      He believes himself to be a powerful individual but is merely a cuckold unto those that actually hold power within the Assembly. It is sad, really, for him to be taken advantage of within such a manner, but he is a willing participant, no matter how obtuse he truly is, so no sympathy should be garnered unto him.

      He is the Greta Thunberg of the Assembly.

      A foolish and ignorant puppet, that believes he matters, or means something within said politburo of the Assembly, when he means nothing, except a token vote.

      And yet, he is not smart enough to see what he is, and still believes he matters somehow.

      What a sad state of affairs for him.

  5. It would be really cool if Anchorage could stop electing people based on immutable factors and stop giving taxpayer’s money to people based on immutable factors, and send everyone that cannot stop noticing immutable factors back to Portland or California.

    • Is “immutable” your word of the day and your teacher asked you to use it in a sentence?? Since you do not actually elaborate on what your “unchangeable” factors are, it contributes nothing. Care to amend your statement?

  6. Let’s see, wasn’t ol’ Felix a part of the Assembly that gave out the cash hand over fist? And for what? He can paddle all he likes, but that canoe isn’t outpacing the stink.

  7. I would love to see a list of all the money handed out in Juneau and what the businesses did with it

  8. Thank you, Suzanne, for at least setting the timeline straight that Bronson could not have possibly given out the million bucks that the assembly wants to so bad to wash its guilty hands of.

  9. “What was unsaid by the newspaper is that the liberal Assembly and unelected mayor were rushing the funds out the door to make sure that Bronson would not have anything to say about the tens of millions of Covid slush money they had control of.”

    Well said! The illegal interim mayor and the majority of the Assembly wanted to do everything they could and still can to make sure Bronson had no say on the COVID jackpot money from the feds. Approaching hundreds of millions of dollars spent on homelessness issue since 2020 on the homeless and nothing to show for it except a damaged/trashed sporta arena and a fatter bank account for Ms. Zalatel and the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. Can’t wait for the next local election cycle for assembly members.

  10. Of course ADN, Everything wrong is Mayor Bronsons fault and everything right is Berky AQD ASSemblys fault. We already knew that as well as orange man”s fault because he was here at AK Airlines center when all this ignorant spending like a bunch of drunken pirates went down.

    ADN is such a waste of resources spreading their dung across Anchorage. However their galant effort to keep democrats ignorant is effective enough to keep the ignorant felix in power. Who votes for that clown? I would love to hear from his supporters but they obviously cant be reading this while gobbling up the horse dung ADN is feeding them. SOMEbody is voting for these stupid people and I pray to god everyday I dont have an in person encounter. That would be scary.

  11. That money is the only reason why the assembly left Austin “ the Bay Area brutalizer” Quinn Davis installed as mayor when they suspend the mayoral election they could not run the risk of letting one of their political enemies upsetting their waste fraud and abuse of their COVID funds

  12. Sounds as if someone didn’t get their kickback money! It is obvious that there is no meaningful vetting process being used in the distribution of “Covid” money.

  13. I “lost confidence” in Felix and the rest of the Assembly when they gave millions away without vetting the recipients. (actually lost it way before that!) A simple background check should have shown that Mavaega and also the Prince who was given $750,000. both had charges of financial fraud in their past.
    Suzanne was absolutely right when she stated, “What was unsaid by the newspaper is that the liberal Assembly and unelected mayor were rushing the funds out the door to make sure that Bronson would not have anything to say about the tens of millions of COVID slush money they had control of.”

      • Maureen, this isn’t any old “funds” these are federal dollars that came with strings attached. Please remember the wheeling and reshuffling of money to get their hands on some more to buy more buildings (which was not allowed under the rules, as the Dep. of the Treasury pointed out to them).
        You apply for a job with the muni a background check is mandatory, so they already have a system in place. Furthermore they have the obligation of due diligence to assure that tax dollar are not funding criminal enterprises and are handed out for the purpose designated. Considering how stingy and ham-fisted the assembly treated the contract for the navigation center, one would expect much of the same, yet it appears not so much….
        In my opinion the Feds are coming to call, to find out what Felix and Co. did with those funds, to potentially claw back misused moneys and the assembly is trying to now cover their considerable behind.

      • 10 minutes on Google would have cleared that one up. Don’t get ahead of yourself there, Mo.

      • You don’t check “everyone” that applies Maureen
        You just check the one you’re going to hire …
        if they fail you go to the next candidate.
        I know you were in the social services field, but try to pay attention
        (& stop the propaganda please)

  14. IF you simply read the first few paragraphs of the MOA form, this complaint should be dismissed. If it is a valid claim, then it should be resubmitted by another person. Funny, one would think that following clearly written instructions wouldn’t be so hard, especially by the elected elite class.

  15. There was a time in our country when all charity and what would, today, be considered ‘social welfare’ was handled 100% locally and by private entities and churches. I see two HUGE advantages to that business model. Since all money is collected and payed out locally, it is better spent. In other words, if it’s tough to collect money for the homeless, then the people paying out the money for homeless benefits are going to make sure that it is spent wisely. Also, all federal (or even state) funds have strings attached. These strings govern who gets the money and how much do they get.

    In a nutshell, when we allow loss of local control, we end up paying money to people who we know should not have it and probably over paying them in the process. This leads to profiteering scams to collect as much ‘easy money’ from the program du juor. Think of all the covid money scams.

    • Paul I am surprised by your apparent lack of understanding how outside religious entities split the state up, and refused our Native people their cultures?

      • I’ve never said that churches are without fault. BUT. The smaller the entity holding the money, the smaller the footprint of crime if that entity turns unlawful. I.e., if a local church is found to be handling the money for the hungry in an illegal manor, it is a much smaller and easier crime to deal with than what we have now, with city, state, and even federal money being doled out to families and friends instead of the needy. Also, when multiple local entities are running their own programs, if you see graft and corruption in one organization you have the option to contribute to a different one.

        I get it, that mentioning churches is a hot button topic for you. For me, it’s the 2nd amendment.

      • Maureen, I am surprised by your chosen lack of understanding of how outside Governmental entities split the State up and refused our Native people their cultures.

      • Maureen, I am surprised by your apparent lack of understanding, that many AK Natives are Christian. Those generally are the ones who stay sober, practice honesty & build a good life for them & their families. (Mary Peltola is one)
        PS: many religious groups stunted Native culture & language, but many didn’t do that.
        We are all human & have flaws.

    • The less people who were brought up to had read and understand God’s Word since childhood watching it lived out in their parents lives, I find in my personal life and by observation the same in others lives the less money we have saved. We spend too much to the adage ‘the money burns a hole in his pocket’ so we have little or living paycheck to paycheck. When more families and churches knew the Word of God they had more money to help out those needy in their own family and neighbors. Now it feel a like everyone is too poor to really help our own family members. I am sure even for Maureen is too poor to pay for my 540 monthly tuition without her needing to go back into work. Our poverty is really reflection how little we understand God’s Word. I’ve always admired how the majority -not all- of Jewish people have money and their adult children are respectfully successful. I look it came from their upbringing from parents who were brought up in Jewish history and the Torah and their Jewish history teachings; which Christians who do read the Bible we also have the Torah and the Jewish history and teachings at our finger prints, so we can also become more knowable how to manage our own wealth better according to what God thinks about wealth stewardship, investment, and savings.

  16. That’s hilarious. Rivera is filing a complaint that HE gave this woman money. Is he going to demand his OWN removal from office too?

  17. Okay dumb question here, but who put this lady on the equal rights commission?
    Don’t you have to submit an application?

  18. This Assembly never heard of before you take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye pull the plank out of your own eye. Don’t make a stink about others mishandling of public funds or their personal poor spending habits when you can’t even spend better.

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